If you’re looking for a unique destination for your next holiday that would be an experience of a lifetime, then East Antarctica is where you should be heading. While many people only visualize ice and snow once this magnificent continent is brought up, there is a lot more to it than most people are unaware of.
Getting to Antarctica
If you’re living in the Southern Hemisphere, there are several cruises during the summer that take you all the way to Antarctica. Departing from New Zealand or Australia, East Antarctica Cruises takes 7 days to reach the icy continent, while the entire round trip lasts for 21 days. Stopping to visit remote islands on the way, such as Auckland and Snares ensures that your journey to Antarctica will also be spectacular.
Things to do in Antarctica
Wildlife in Antarctica is like nothing you have ever experienced before. Not only because this continent has very few human visitors who do not interfere with the cycle of nature, but also because the climate is very different allowing a variety of animals to exist in the cold weather.
Getting to see the penguins in their natural habitat over the glaciers of ice is definitely an experience of a lifetime. It’s one thing to see a few penguins up close and personal, but getting to see the famous happy feet in great numbers is a glamorous sight, like nothing you’ve ever seen before. With many different kinds of penguins in East Antarctica, the enormous Adélie Penguin rookeries are the kind of rare wildlife you’re bound to come across in East Antarctica. You’ll also spot whales, seals, and many other fascinating creatures in their actual habitat.
You can get the chance to walk in the footsteps of history as you visit the Mawson’s hut on Commonwealth Bay. You’ll get the opportunity to learn about the three explorers Mackay, Davidson, and Mawson, who first set foot in the South Pole in 1909. You’ll also be able to visit other islands and get a glimpse of how things were seen through the eyes of these explorers over a century ago.
There’s a reason why kayaking is one of the best things to do in Antarctica. Not only is it a whole lot of fun, but it also allows you to take narrower routes where the ships cannot pass through to get a lot closer to the wildlife of the area. While kayaking, you can get the opportunity to view a seal sunbathing on a smaller block of ice or getting close to inspecting an iceberg as you paddle around the waters.
With the amount of beauty hidden underwater, there’s only way you can get to experience it, that is scuba diving. The spectacular wide array of marine life is usually hidden under the water levels, and scuba diving will allow you to view kelp walls, crabs, sea-hedgehogs, starfish, sea butterflies, and even giant isopods.
When there are ice and snow all around you, it’s definitely time to get your skiing gear out. Cross-country skiing is quite popular amongst the things to do in Antarctica, and what makes it such a pristine vacation is that it gives you the opportunity to explore further into the vast interiors. You can even decide to camp overnight and double your one of a kind experience. Depending on how good your skiing skills are, you can also visit the penguin colonies, which are usually too far to reach on foot.
Climb Observation Hill
While the hike is just 30 mins, the rewards once you reach the top are incredible. You’ll get to view the mesmerizing landscape across the Ross Ice Shelf as well as Mount Erebus. On a clear night, you can even see the cross erected at the peak in Captain Robert Scott’s honor. But don’t forget to come prepared for the climb, as the weather can get really cold the higher you go up.
And if you’re looking for a more adventurous experience with even more scenic views, then you could even give the Antarctica’s highest mountain a shot. While it requires a mountain climbing experience, Vinson Massif is almost 5,000 feet high and takes around 20 days to reach the summit.
One of the most fascinating things about Antarctica is that it has so much to offer. Whether you’re looking for history, beautiful scenery, unique marine life and species you’ve never set eyes on before, or an adventure you’re bound to remember for the rest of your life; you’ll find it all available in one place, making it one of the most pristine destinations to visit.